By Gurudath Pai, SAP Partner Solutions Architect, GSI – AWS
By Nikhil Tankhiwale, Lead – TCS Crystallus Solution

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Organizations are looking for digital transformation which offers the guarantee of new business opportunities, increased agility, higher productivity, and improved customer service with reduced risks and expenses.

To keep pace with the rapidly-evolving business models, companies recognize the criticality of transforming their digital core powered by SAP and leveraging cloud technologies as part of their digital transformation.

However, SAP S/4HANA adoption is often hindered by cost and time constraints or concerns about business continuity.

To achieve transformation objectives, ensure success, and drive business growth, enterprises are demanding solutions pre-configured with contextualized industry best practices, and innovations with process automation capabilities which accelerates their adoption of SAP S/4HANA to help achieve business growth and transformation objectives.

With TCS Crystallus pre-configured industry and business solutions, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) helps organizations overcome these challenges and provides a seamless journey to SAP S/4HANA with cloud adoption of Amazon Web Services (AWS) for their mission-critical SAP workloads.

In this post, we provide a glimpse into TCS Crystallus S/4HANA on AWS, its key features, sample deployment in a customer landscape, and the accelerated approach which helps SAP customers adopt SAP S/4HANA on AWS faster and cut down time to market.

TCS is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and Managed Cloud Service Provider (MSP) with the SAP Competency that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for the last 50 years.

Solution Overview

TCS Crystallus on AWS offers a set of proven solutions powered by assets and accelerators, leveraging SAP S/4HANA as its digital core along with SAP-intelligent technologies to kick-start digital transformation journeys on the cloud.

The solutions include industry best practices, business scenarios, process flows, and solution blueprints packaged as a comprehensive business reference suite (repository) and demo content for SAP.

These solution sets are enriched with TCS contextual knowledge and domain experience across industries, including railways (transportation), medical technologies and pharmaceuticals (life sciences), semiconductors (hi-tech), and utilities. These line-of-business and decision-enabling analytic solutions help maximize customer satisfaction and stakeholder value.

TCS Crystallus comprises the following distinctive features:

  • Industry best practices: Enables an enterprise to build foundational capability that is flexible and scalable to create competitive advantage.
  • Business solutions: Offers pre-configured business solution sets enriched with end-to-end optimized business process scenarios, industry innovations, and comprehensive blueprints which enable an enterprise to visualize and manage process and data flows.
  • Industry innovations: Leverages new intelligent technologies integrated with SAP S/4HANA digital core to bring in disruptive business processes and advanced analytics of the SAP digital core, and intelligent technologies on AWS with TCS industry solutions to drive business outcomes.
  • Tool-based accelerated cloud adoption: Accelerators and solutions built by TCS help large enterprises adopt cloud rapidly for mission-critical workloads like SAP.
  • Machine First Delivery Model (MFDM): Leverages TCS MFDM framework to manage and further enhance the platform that perpetually transforms the intelligent enterprise on AWS.

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Figure 1 – TCS Crystallus provides value beyond foundational capabilities.

TCS Crystallus offers a comprehensive reference solution for the particular industry, eliminating the need for combining multiple best practice-based solutions. It combines SAP and TCS best practices to address industry white space requirements, and is integrated with TCS industry innovations.

TCS Crystallus in SAP S/4HANA Transformation Program

Below are the steps which transition TCS Crystallus S/4HANA from a base reference system to a customer’s SAP production landscape:

  1. TCS Crystallus S/4HANA is deployed in a customer’s AWS landscape as a reference system where further customer-specific contextualization is performed.
  2. Customers have full flexibility to add, modify, and remove process scenarios as required for their transformation program based on the scoping being done as part of the preparation phase.
  3. Customers can add additional solution components such as Ariba, SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP), and SAP Asset Intelligence Network (AIN) based on scoping done as part of the preparation phase.
  4. Customer-specific reference master data is set up in “demo client” to enable improved contextualization for Fit/Gap workshops.
  5. Fit/Gap workshops are done in the TCS Crystallus S/4HANA system with a demo-led approach to review, refine, and finalize business processes and solutions.

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Figure 2 – TCS Crystallus deployment in a transformation program.

Accelerated Solution Approach for S/4HANA Adoption on AWS

TCS offers a wide range of automation tools and accelerators to reduce the deployment time and ease the operations management of SAP S/4HANA  on AWS.

Below are a list of such automation tools which are used along with TCS Crystallus to support the phases of SAP S/4HANA adoption:

  1. Digitized cloud assessment to accelerate cloud discovery, assessment, and development of a framework for cloud migration to AWS is done with TCS Cloud Counsel.
  2. Rapidly defining, designing, and deploying of cloud infrastructure on AWS to build a foundation for SAP deployment is done through TCS Cloud Mason.
  3. TCS Crystallus is provisioned as a reference system in the customer’s landscape, and is rapidly deployed with pre-built AWS CloudFormation and Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) of the solution.
  4. Customized deployment templates (Terraform or AWS CloudFormation) are used to rapidly build rest of the SAP landscapes which adhere to customer requirements of uptime, security, high availability (HA), and disaster recovery (DR).
  5. Frictionless cloud operations management of AWS is done through TCS Cloud Exponence, which offers a holistic value-added package for cloud management around security, reliability, performance, cost optimization, and operational excellence.

Deployment of TCS Crystallus in an SAP Landscape

Below is a sample architecture which depicts the details of how TCS Crystallus on AWS as a reference system is deployed on AWS in a customer landscape, along with non-production and mission-critical production SAP systems.

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Figure 3 – TCS Crystallus on AWS architecture in a customer landscape.

In this design, SAP landscape is split into multiple tiers like Development (DEV), Integration Testing (QA), Production (PROD), Shared Core Services, and Crystallus Golden Template.

Each tier is assigned with a separate Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and AWS Transit Gateway acts as a hub which connects the VPCs together. This hub-and-spoke model ensures isolation of different parts of infrastructure and allows more precise access controls.

TCS Crystallus S/4HANA instance is deployed through Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). The rest of non-production and production SAP instances are deployed in their respective VPCs with a combination of custom-built AWS CloudFormation templates, Terraform modules, and AWS Launch Wizard. This infrastructure as code (IaC) process of deploying SAP on AWS cuts down the build timeline from weeks to hours.

The deployed Crystallus S/4HANA system will serve as a golden template for the rest of the landscape. Fit-to-standard and customer-specific templates are generated here after Fit/Gap workshop, and findings are transported into the development system for further enhancement and unit testing.

These changes are moved to the quality system, and after successful integration testing they are finally moved to the production landscape. This would now contain the industry best practices and customer-specific customizations generated through Fit/Gap workshop.

The production landscape is built upon SAP and AWS best practices to match the customer’s system uptime requirement. In the architecture above, the production SAP S/4HANA system is configured with high availability clustering. The SAP application layer’s point of failure being ABAP central services (ASCS) in Availability Zone 1 (AZ1) is configured with lock replication to SAP enqueue replication server (ERS) in AZ2.

Similarly, the primary SAP HANA database (AZ1) is connected to secondary SAP HANA database (AZ2) via HANA system replication (HSR). SUSE Enterprise Linux (SLES) or Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) offered SAP-certified clustering packages are configured. This is both application and AWS infrastructure-aware to handle failover of resources from primary AZ1 to secondary AZ2, thereby ensuring maximum uptime of the business critical SAP S/4HANA system.

In addition to the primary landscape, which is configured with high availability to meet system uptime requirements, for business continuity this landscape can be attached with disaster recovery (DR) designs like warm standby DR, pilot light DR, or hot-standby DR to suit the expected Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO).

Conclusion

TCS Crystallus on AWS delivers following business benefits:

  • Faster time-to-market: Accelerates business transformation with S/4HANA adoption journeys on AWS, thereby gaining significant lead time advantage spend with no compromise in performance or capacity of SAP landscape.
  • Competitive advantage: Embeds industry-specific best practices enhanced with contextual knowledge to build a foundational base for an intelligent enterprise ecosystem. This foundational base is scalable to future business needs, and flexible to include differentiated capabilities, creating exceptional competitive advantage for enterprises.
  • Business agility through innovation: Provides a basis for perpetual transformation to adopt new business and service models and continuous innovations by leveraging integration with a broad set of AWS services and ensuring enterprises stay ahead of the curve.
  • Minimal business disruption: Ensures business as usual by minimizing the impact on users and processes.
  • Proven cost savings: Leverages the flexibility of AWS to take complete control of cost and continuously optimize infrastructure.

To learn more about TCS AWS migration capabilities including SAP, visit the TCS and AWS page.

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TCS – AWS Partner Spotlight

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is an AWS Premier Tier Consulting Partner and MSP. An IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, TCS has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for the last 50 years.

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